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Doctors urged to ask patients about gambling in new NHS mental health guidance

People who seek help for mental health issues should be asked about problem gambling in the same way they are asked about drugs, smoking and alcohol, new guidance has suggested.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), those who visit an NHS health professional in England for depression, anxiety or thoughts about self-harm or suicide because of a possible addiction, such as alcohol or drugs, could be at a greater risk of harm from gambling.

NICE said questions should be asked about patients’ gambling habits to ensure they could cope with their thoughts and urges. In new draft guidance, it suggested patients should be encouraged to assess the severity of their gambling by using a questionnaire available on the NHS website. Those who scored eight or higher should seek support and treatment from gambling services.

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Source: The Guardian, 5 October 2023


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